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Lek

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  1. Hi, Ghost81: I'm pretty much with Worrier999. If you don't mind me being a bit blunt, it seems to me that you've not communicated your sexuality and your current issues with your wife. So, communicating now feels difficult, awkward, even scary. The bedrock of relationships must be communication. As we grow as people, our needs change and so our relationship must grow. This is true whether the issue is a new job, going back to college, or having sexual experience with another. It is a partnership. In all fairness to your wife, you need to discuss why the two of you aren't having sex. Has she withdrawn? Why? Have you been feeling less attracted to her? If so, she'll know and perhaps even feel unattractive. Or there may be other emotional or physiological issues with your wife. I'm kind of surprised you would say, "no guy is gonna accept that i am a bi-sexual and that i am married." There are other married bisexual men, too. There are unmarried bisexual men. And there are gay men who are okay with a relationship with a married bi man. The bottom line, though, is from the get-go, you must tell him you are bisexual and married. When I was 18-19 years old and ridiculously romantic, several married bisexual men hooked up with me. I felt deeply hurt and betrayed. Anyway, if she is upset by what you have to say, isn't that understandable? Perhaps she would feel threatened if you explore your gay side--that she would lose you. Perhaps you even feel that fear. Bisexuality is confusing to many people who think of the world in black and white, either/or terms. Take a look at the questions Worrier999 raised and try to answer them. What do you actually specifically want? The discussion with your wife may actually clarify many things. I am concerned that the longer you wait on this conversation, the more resentment you'll both feel toward each other. If you just find that you can't raise this issue, I think a marriage counselor would be helpful. A counselor can teach you both how to talk to each other in non-threatening ways and, just as importantly, how to listen without getting defensive. Good luck. Hope I've said something helpful.
  2. Hi, Rypdx27: I'm a bit confused about the expression of you and your ex's "friendship." Dinner, movies, phone calls? In any event, if I were in your situation, I'd ask, "What am I getting out of this relationship?" It is noble that you want him to be happy, but what about you? You deserve to have a relationship (with a boyfriend and friends)that is supportive, loving, enriching, and comfortable. Hasn't he already moved on from your relationship? Maybe it's time to move on too. (This is just my two-cents worth.)
  3. Hi, Anna: I agree with Liliah that coming out is empowering. Secrets are heavy burdens to carry. First, you know your parents. We don't. But I'd bet they love you and want you to be happy. Second, I coming out should be an act of love: "I'm telling you this, because I love you and I want you to be a part of my life." If coming out is like a confession, your parents--or anyone--will pick up on the negative energy. Third, please don't write letters or text messages or telephone calls to tell them. It's unfair to you both, and it probably means you aren't ready. The emotional connection you have with a face-to-face, heart-to-heart talk is important. Fourth, be prepared. Are you ready? You've known them for 14 years, how might they react? If you do come out, they may doubt it and tell you you're to young to decide these things. Don't argue. In fact, don't allow any of the discussion to deteriorate into arguments. Let them have their say and their reactions. People says stupid things when they are surprised, upset, and/or ignorant. Nod you head and say "I understand how you feel". They need time to come out too. Also, give them resources, like Internet sites for parents of LGBT. If there is a local chapter of Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays, have their address and phone number available. Or they may just say, "We've known it, Anna." Fifth, worrier999's suggestions are good. Try to find a youth group in your area. There are also very good web forum sites for gay lesbian teens. Support is important. Or just Google the words in bold. Anyway, this is just want I think. I hope some of it is helpful.
  4. Coming out to parents is a big and liberating step. The lies and secrets is exhausting, for sure. The when is something you have to decide, of course. You know your parents well. The best way is to think of sharing this part of yourself as a positive gift of love so that they can be part of your life and vice versa. Parents take their cues about how to react by their son's or daughter's response--if it is a tearful "confession," they could assume that there is something bad about being gay or lesbian. If they don't know much about it, have information available and if possible the local chapter of PFLAG--Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays. It sounds like you are in a positive state of mind about yourself. Perhaps others here have other ideas. Warm wishes!
  5. Hi, Fighting Survivor, Welcome. We're glad to see you here. Glad to hear that your transition well went and that your depression is under control. I'm sure that your support and advice will be valuable here. And, of course, we're always here for you.
  6. Hi, Tress, I'm sorry to hear about all of these difficult things happening to people around you. I could be wrong, Tress, but it seems like you have a strong sense of wanting to take care of others. That's great, but how about yourself? Certainly, if you are worn out emotionally caring for others, you'll have little left to give. As difficult as it is to accept, your mother, your gf, and your best friend have made choices. They aren't your choices to make and they aren't choices you would want them to make, but can you see how much anger and their choices have triggered in you? The choice you need to make now is whether you can live with your girlfriend's and your best friend's choices. If not, you have two choices: Continue to allow yourself to be hurt and angry, or to set them adrift and let them take the rightful responsibilities of their choices. I see no reason, Tress, to continue to suffer. It is okay if their problems and issues are too much for you to bear. You have no power over others, but you are empowered with the gift of choice in your own life. For me, I would wish for you that you could learn how to cope with your anger in order to deal with its underlying pain. Holding onto them is so exhausting. I think you sense that. And that is not waiting at the sidelines. Working on yourself is an active, wonderful thing to give yourself. The ability to accept people as they are, and to accept their good and bad choices, begins with yourself. Why do you feel so angry and hurt by their choices? That's a start. It might help if you asked your mother why she let that man vent instead of do what you might do. As for your gf, it might help if you tell her that you would like to see that she take more responsibility in her life now, that it is difficult to see her in the current situation with her father, but that you understand you cannot force any change in her life--that it is all up to her. Our expectations of others are usually unconscious until something happens. Aren't we betrayed by our expectations? At one time or another, all of us stumble by making "bad" and even "stupid" choices. Again, we have to accept that they have to take the responsibility for their choices. Perhaps making "bad" and "stupid" choices helps steer us toward "good" and "wise" choices. Experience is, after all, the greatest teacher. I wonder--and I hope I'm not out of line here--I wonder whether you feel you are worth love, by that I mean loving, and being loved. I ask that because people who are "helpers" often are very capable of giving love, but not receiving it. Love is a loop of giving and taking. But you cannot make the connection without loving yourself. That's where the receiving part starts. How do you do that? By reminding yourself that you love yourself, doing things that are good for you, getting in touch with your feels and needs and doing something about them (e.g., asking someone for what you need), allowing yourself to feel good (instead of dreading the day or even moment when you don't). It sounds simplistic, but it works. Learning to love yourself takes work. Our culture somehow teaches us that self-love is bad, narcissistic, or selfish. But loving yourself is a selfless thing. Narcissistic and selfish people do not love themselves at all. There's an old saying, "If you want to change the world, start with yourself." I'd say it applies: "If you want to change your world, start with yourself." I know you deserve love, Tress.
  7. Hi, Noname188, Thanks for the update. It is good that you expressed what you felt and that you figured out the answer. Best of all, you can remain chat buddies. I'm not clear about how you feel about the situation. I hope the story of your life is that you are emerging a person who can communicate your feelings and needs in a positive way. We just have to be aware of when we have expectations behind our asking for what we need. Yes, there will be "no's" from those you ask, but that isn't a rejection of you. We are all empowered with choice. And there will be "yes's'". Sometimes we are more afraid of the "yes" than of the "no." It is a great accomplishment when you can be as clear as we can about our feelings and needs, take the risk to communicate those needs, and allow others to communicate their needs to you. That, to me, is the foundation of a healthy relationship. Taking responsibility for what you feel and allowing others to take responsibility for theirs isn't easy. Built into our language are assumptions otherwise: "He MADE me angry." "He MADE me feel sad." What a sad thing to relinquish our precious connection to ourselves and consequently our needs. Anyway, forgive me for writing so much. I seem to have needed to remind myself of these things. In any event, I hope you feel proud of yourself for tasking the risk.
  8. Hi, Spouse1, Thanks for sharing this with us. I'm sorry that you have been in such a difficult situation. I don't know much about cross-dressing, but as I understand it, it has nothing to do with sexual orientation. It is a sexual fetish--a turn-on. Gay men don't cross-dress. Transsexuals do. Is that what you meant? A lot of straight men are into she-males. That doesn't mean they're gay. As a matter of fact, gay men aren't turned on at all by she-males. Bisexual guys, yes. I live in a country where pre-operative transsexuals can raise money for their operations. You'd be surprised at the demand for their services. I can't tell you what to do. If I were being berated, belittled, and called "biotch," I wouldn't hang around. To me, you and your well-being should be the issue. Don't you deserve to be happy? To me, he's an adult and it shouldn't be your financial responsibility to support him. Maybe I'm being too cold in saying that, but I wonder if that dependency on you just encourages dependency. . . In any event, priority one is you and your kids. Can you go to a counselor to sort out these issues? You sound like you are in knots. Frankly, I have some very strong opinions about this situation, but I know that it is best that you make your own decisions. Please keep us informed, okay?
  9. Hi, One Big Mess, First, you have made a brave first step in sharing your thoughts and feelings with us so candidly. Second, I hope that you'll take Girly's advise and give someone a call. Read your first two paragraphs again. If this were sent to you from a friend, what would those words tell you? It tells me that you are depressed and in need of help. It is good that you are scared. It is good that you are tired. It means that it is time to act, to do something, to get help. The problem is that you've been battling depression--probably for a long time. Intelligent, articulate people, like you, especially when not connected to others, talk to themselves a lot, but have no perspective. When depressed, though, the "voice" of depression crowds out rational thought. Don't give into it. It's a D*** liar. I'm not going to argue with you about suicide. I was there several times. It is not pretty, brave, or necessary. Thoughts of suicide are a red flag for depression. You are an intelligent, very articulate guy and the way you have experienced the world, the eyes that you have that see it differently from others, could be something you could contribute through music, art, or poetry. You will find your true voice--not for the world, but for yourself. (The world needs its nonconformists, though.) It does sound like you have a lot to be angry about, One Big Mess. I came from a very poor family too, and was mocked and discriminated against. And you have a lot of loss--your home, privacy, your father, and perhaps even your identity. What's the opposite of hate? Most people say "love", but in fact, it is indifference. You have to care a lot about something or someone in order to hate. Hate is a way of putting up a very unstable wall. It takes a lot of energy to hold that D*** thing up. So, I ask you, why waste so much energy hating? The smoke of it clouds your ability to find what you want. I understand not fitting even to the point of even not wanting to fit in. (So much of what you described about your life was just like mine when I was younger. It's eerie.) And I think that you'll find that one of your strengths will be not conforming. But it does sound to me that you put up a strong barrier. It feels safe behind your walls, yet you long to step around them. You probably don't realize now that when you let people see the real you, they will actually like you just as you are. So, one great thing about dealing with depression is that you can come out of the storm. You don't have to give up yourself, you just be yourself and be open. And, yeah, there are open-minded people out there who would love to have a "SO different" person in their lives. When I was in university, one of the great things was sharing musical artists with friends--and talking about what this song meant and so on. A lot of music I though I wouldn't like, I ended up liking--and vice versa. Music was so important to me (and still is) and sharing it was like sharing myself. You are not "beyond repair," because you aren't broken. You have this horrible beast of depression riding your back (which didn't jump out at you from music). The next step is to get help. That's the hard part, because reaching out is a bit scary. Being as intelligent as you are, though, may not be helpful. We have to balance our minds and emotions--not separate them. We have to learn to take risks--risks not only to perhaps fail but to succeed. Once freed of depression, you can start learning to get on with life, making choices, and growing. Yeah, it sounds cliche. Sorry. I hope I've said something here that is helpful, OBM. If you want to talk more privately, PM me.
  10. I'd say that the basic idea--being threatened by gay men--still applies. Although in the case of a woman, she may have had a relationship with a gay man and was hurt because of it. Still, no excuse. Do you mean she's saying, "That's so gay"? If so, I'm sure you know it carries the meaning of "that's so lame." It became a trendy catchphrase . . . but now is passe. Nobody "cool" uses it anymore. Nonetheless, in my opinion, beneath "That's so gay" are stereotypes and deeper still social attitudes that gay men are contemptible. I know many people disagree, but "just words" doesn't cut it. Words express our attitudes and that of our culture. Actually, I think I would be stunned if a woman made an anti-gay slur. Women, after all, endure oppression just as do gay people. . . In any event, I think you have a perfect thing to say to her, "There is no excuse for anyone in Toronto working and studying to not have grasped that insults one might have used growing up or even in high school are unacceptable." It's good that you just want to take care of yourself right now. I understand how exhausting it can be to feel as if one has to fight one more battle against ignorance and hatred. Somehow the social evolution/enlightenment seems to make ten steps forward and then is pushed back five. You do have a right to have a workplace that is comfortable for you and free of insults and slurs.
  11. I'm happy to see that you are considering some possible solutions. I hope the three of you will make great roommates. I understand that there are a lot of uncertainties (gosh, this takes me back to my university days). It sounds like maybe you over-think things--something I'm well aware of in myself. I call it my "what-if" issue. It's good to understand the worst-case scenario, but there's something to be said about just taking a leap and going for it. In my experience, the best way of finding a place to rent is just driving around neighborhoods looking for "FOR RENT" signs. In your case, the first question I would ask is "Do you allow pets?" If the answer is "No," just say thanks anyway and move on. Don't get discouraged. There are apartment owners who love pets (actually, I don't trust anyone who doesn't love animals). I understand that previous pet owners may have been irresponsible--not cleaning up after their pets, allowing their pet to disturb neighbors, or not training their dog not to chew wooden doors, for example. It can be costly. There is also something to be said about faith and positive thinking. Have faith things will work out. Don't give in to the frustration. It works out. Sometimes in ways you didn't anticipate (that's another reason over-thinking things is not a good idea--one gets a narrowed picture of possibilities). Here's some more for good luck to the three of you.
  12. I do understand what you mean. A coworker likes to feign his idea of a gay man. Stereotypes. It's kind of a shocker, and I don't know how to react. So, I just ignore it. I figured it was a one-time thing, but not so. So I'm suspicious. It is my understanding that guys who make slurs (I consider the feign a slur) at some level are covering up their homosexual impulses. That's why teenage boys, whose sexual impulses are high, tend to be very homophobic. And that's why homophobia can be so dangerous to gay men. A straight guy might share a "drop the soap in the communal showers" joke, but they don't make slurs from out of the blue (unless they've been confronted by something uncomfortable). There is a lot of ignorance about homosexuality and homosexual behavior, but I think most people understand that it is not "politically correct" these days to use the "F" word or to make slurs or jokes. With all the scandals about right-wing homophobes being caught with their proverbial pants down, I think many people are getting it--if you hate gays, you're covering it up in yourself. So, when coworkers don't laugh at the jokes or squirm at slurs, a guy gets it. If he doesn't, a red flag goes up. Why is he making slurs (or jokes)? Well, perhaps turning scorn against gay people is a way of keeping his homosexual impulses at bay. So, you and I have two choices--ignore them or confront them. In my situation, it is widely known that I'm gay (I live in a country where it is not a big deal). I guess I'm waiting for someone to tell him. He's pretty dense though. My boyfriend drops me off and picks me up everyday. And I always say "we" and "our" (house, dogs, etc.). I also was quiet surprised at my reaction though. I felt angry, although I fought that off. So, for the time being, I think that, understanding that he has this issue, I can just pity him. In your situation, they guy is using words that cut deeply. Maybe if I were in your situation, I might say, "Look, dude, I don't like slurs of any kind. I don't like people saying the 'N' word or homo or the 'F' word or (give other examples here; I forgot many of them). I respect everyone. They're all human beings and I expect you to respect everyone too."
  13. You're not a monster. Please never think that. You're not a bad influence. Understand? I'm very much like you described in your original post. You think differently. That's not a bad thing. But people do feel threatened when one challenges their ideas. People are afraid of change. It is very, very, very important, Tress, that you take care of yourself now. You cannot be strong unless you allow yourself to be taken care of. Go to a friend, your dad, someone you trust, a counselor. Please. I know it is very hard right now. We're here for you.
  14. (((((((Tress))))))) I know it is difficult to step back a bit, but I think that's what you first need to do. Of course, you're very concerned about your girlfriend's situation, but it might not be helpful to her if you are too emotionally involved. She has to make decisions, so I think it would be better to be there to listen and give feedback (not advice). What I mean is, "I hear you say..." kinds of things. Your girlfriend can better assess whether the fear about his possible violence toward her and you is valid. So, I think this is something to discuss. Since there are possible death threats, you or she might want to contact the police for advice. You're both twenty and in college. It sounds like she's financially dependent on her father right now. But the two of you might discuss options. If she cannot continue at college, can she find a job? Have her talk to the financial aid department so she knows her options. Is there a psychological counseling center at your college? If so, both of you might consider going there. A counselor can really help. There are more things I'd like to say, Tress, but I've got to get ready for work. In the meantime, here's a big huge for you and your girlfriend. I'm happy to give more feedback if you want.
  15. Hi, Jen2910, It sounds as if all of this is fairly recent and, from what you've said, I'm not entirely sure that you led him on. It sounds like normal dating. Straight, gay, bi people do go out to get to know each other and to see whether the relationship can go beyond dating. So, I'd say that being a lesbian is not really relevant to this relationship. Your motivation may have been to test the waters of your orientation, but he doesn't know that. And I think it is normal to be flattered by another person's interest. It seems to me that the inevitable and reasonable talk about "our relationship" might be your best approach. "How do you see our relationship?" for example. Then, say something like, "I'm just not in a place to become serious. I really like you and would like a friendship, if that's possible." Don't use the "I think you're a nice guy" line with a guy. A lot of guys see it as a kind of a put down. And if a guy has had a lot of failed relationships, he's heard this line a lot. Gay guys use the line too. If he brings up a sexual interest in you (i.e., "okay, then no strings, just sex"), a simple "Thank you, but I'm not that kind of person." I doubt this issue would come up, though. I think that telling someone one's sexual orientation is a special gift we give to those we care about. So, if a friendship blossoms in the future, then might be the best time. If you bring it up now, you risk bruising the delicate male ego (I'm a guy, and I have one of those too). Also, some guys see this revelation as a challenge to turn you straight. (When I was young and out, a number of women decided to turn me straight, so it's not just guys.) Finally, I think you deserve praise for recognizing that this may go too far and that you want make this easier on both of you, rather than running away from it. You did recognize signs of his interest, so you're more perceptive than you thought. You should be proud of opening up to someone. Just keep yourself open, okay? Best of luck and keep us informed on how it goes.
  16. Welcome to our corner of DF. We look forward to getting to know you!

  17. Hi, lifthtrival, When one is opening to possibilities, as you are, it is natural to have conflicting concerns. It can be hard to separate them. We grow up with a lot of messages about the way we should be. Your beliefs about love being genderless seems firm, and and that is what I think you should center yourself around. Try to keep a handle on the fact that the future is not real and that the only thing you can focus on is today. Dreading it doesn't do anything but hurt yourself. When I was younger, I worried a lot about things. What I found useful was a worst-case scenario and to make a decision what I would do. "If that happened, I'd ______________." Done. Finished. Move on. It takes some practice. I had to become more aware of when I was worrying and then consciously telling myself to stop. When we are young, many things seem black-and-white, right-or-wrong. As we mature, hopefully, we begin to see shades of grey. It can be difficult to let go of and to see that nothing is black or white. Many parents seem to be quite black-and-white about things. Homophobia, like sexism and racism, are subtly built into social assumptions. Today, it is not as socially correct to act on sexist and racist beliefs. This is not so true of homophobia. So, many parents express outright homophobic statements, because that's what others of their generation and social group do. Thing often change when parents find out their son or daughter is gay or bi. I don't know your parents, so, of course, I cannot give you advice on whether to come out or not. I can tell you that the more comfortable you are with yourself, the better. When people you care about see that you are happy and that you do not see your orientation as something to be ashamed of, it is often easier for them to accept. When the time is right to tell them, you'll know. The soreness is something normal when these toys are first being used. Just make sure that you use plenty of lubricant. The shame and "feeling low" may come from that old voice inside your head, which we all have, that is supposed to tell us what is right and wrong. Shame is a means of social control. It's how parents, teachers, and other authority figures train us when we are young. Feeling low may be because your use and enjoyment of the toy represent crossing a threshold from denial to acknowledgment of your desires. I suspect that you'll become more comfortable with your feelings. I found it useful to dissect my feelings of shame by writing about them. That way I could determine whether shame was appropriate or not and, most importantly, why I felt shame. Hope this is useful. We're here to listen, lifthtrival, so feel free to "talk."
  18. Hi, Exhausted, I'm happy that you are sharing your feelings and thoughts. I'm sure you know this, but keep in mind that we give feedback, but we're not professionals. Human beings are not very good at analyzing themselves. We need other people to be our mirrors. Even psychiatrists and psychologists need professional help now and then. Acting as a sympathetic ear and giving feedback helps a lot and it feels good to help another feel better. As others here have suggested, suicidal thoughts and social isolation are a symptom of depression; that's why they suggested seeing a doctor. I think you sense this too. You've touched on many issues, but I'll mention just a few. "What bothers me is, I don't want these feelings towards guys!" Well, it's not like you have a choice, Exhausted. And trying to suppress them is unhealthy. I think the key is when you wrote, "sometimes it's like all I can think about is how would it be if I was with a guy who shares the same feeling as I do." That seems like a cry for emotional bonding, which is totally human. How do you think it might be if you were with a guy who shares the same feelings as you? You have a dream of a wife and family, yet you're suppressing feelings toward men. It must feel like a tight, painful emotional and psychological knot, right? I think the answer has to be to accept your feelings; only then can you make choices about what to do with them. Did you mean that you stopped dating because you feel your feelings toward men is cheating? But why are you sacrificing your needs and your opportunity to grow, blossom, and love and be loved? That somehow sounds like you're punishing yourself. Forgive me, but I think considering your parent's acceptance or not should not be part of the equation. You can cross that bridge when you get there, right? I had, and in some ways still have, a lot of wounds from events and turmoil in my family when growing up. The cost of all that pain was that I cut off my emotions, not really realizing I was terrified of the pain. So, I can relate to what you are alluding to since you were 12. It's a terrible cost, to be disconnected emotionally, as I think you realize. Self-medicating. Social isolation. Depression. But I believe the answer is not really to look back at the bad things. What's done is done and cannot be undone. I think you need to deal with the right-here-and-now. What can you do now to help yourself feel better and to reconnect to others. Ironically, in order to be selfless, we have to be selfish. In an airplane, the instruction are for parents to put on their oxygen mask first before putting it on their child. This is because a passed out parent cannot help his or her child. In other words, you have to do what you need to be you and to give yourself what you need to be happy. All of those bad things in your past have given you some gifts, if you think about it. Empathy. Strength. Courage. These are good tools you've used to make it through. You can use those same tools in dealing with the here-and-now. I think you're right when you tell your friends, "love life and it will love you back!" You should be the life you're talking about. When I was at university, my best friend and roommate had a psychologist as a friend. I remember I was quite scared to be around him at first, because I thought he would analyze me and would discover I was totally messed up. He didn't work when he was socializing with us, of course. When I finally went to see a psychologist, that fear rose up even more: He would discover terrible things in me that I could face. It was a totally irrational fear. Eventually, I realized that I was terrified of looking at things in me. By that time, I was so disconnected to my emotions, I feared I would be sucked into a black hole if I faced them. I learned to face them. I learned to heal. I learned to take care of myself (such as, recognizing my symptoms of depression and acting on them; the critical importance of staying connected to my friends; to recognize that what I feel was valid and my feelings would help me make choices that were good for me). I don't know if any of this is helpful for you. I hope so. Just know that we're here for you and you're not alone. Just remember it must be one step at a time. One issue at a time. You cannot solve all of the issues you raised at the same time, right?
  19. Hi, StoneTiger, I agree with Exhausted that your close friends wouldn't reject you because you are uncertain of your sexual orientation at this time. I like Exhausted attitude as well. I'm assuming your still in school (if I'm wrong, pardon me). In certain areas of the country, there can be a lot of pressure to dating and even to identify yourself as gay or straight--this can feel like very black or white pressure to choose. Guys in particular are under a lot of social pressure to display their sexuality. For many females, however, sexual orientation can be a gradual unfolding, of blossoming, so to speak. But it is certainly okay to wait if you feel comfortable with that and okay to experiment if you feel comfortable with that now. Also, a lot of people say that they are attracted by a person, regardless of whether that person might be female or male. You might be one of those people. In any event, I doubt whether someone can "sense" your uncertainty about your orientation, but they can sense your uncomfortableness and withdrawal. In any event, it is not really possible to read minds--human being can make informed guesses about another person's behavior. (They're usually wrong, but that's another topic.) If you are asked outright, answer with a smile and light humor. For example, "Last time I looked, the jury's still out on that one." It is important to feel comfortable with yourself. If so, others will sense that and be comfortable with you. It is okay to feel you aren't ready to "choose" right now. So, be comfortable with that. If, by "certain friends", you mean gay friends, they'll assume you're gay and so might straight peers. But, as you pointed out, your straight friends talk about, and have, gay friends. This is because they feel comfortable with themselves and aren't concerned about being labeled by others, right? It sounds a little like these "certain people" you talk about are people you like enough to have an emotional investment in becoming part of their group and/or to connect with individually--you want to be "accepted," right? Perhaps your main issue is fear of rejection. If so, that's a very, very common concern, especially when one is young. Just remember you can't be rejected by people you just meet or only know casually; an ongoing relationship is being rejected. They don't know you, and don't know anything about the real you. That's hard to remember. But humans do that all the time--even you. We choose to pursue or not a connection of some kind with another person hundreds of times. You do it too. Exhausted's attitude is that you have a right to ask other people to allow an opportunity for a friendship or other relationship, just as they have a right to decline. You have a right to expect other people to respect you and your feelings. If they don't, they're not worthy of your friendship. Right? So, try to relax and be comfortable with yourself. Hope I've said something helpful. Keep us up to date, okay?
  20. Welcome to our corner of DF, Exhausted. Glad to see you are sharing with us.

  21. Welcome, StoneTiger, to our corner of DF. We hope to get to know you better!

  22. Hi, Jag256, I very much relate to what you have been feeling. I am a bit concerned about your depressive symptoms returning. And I wonder why you seem to have discounted the invite to coffee and her enthusiastic replies. I think you've gotten great advice,. I can only talk of my experience. When I've found guys attractive. It may not work for you, but it worked for me. I could not stand the uncertainties; it was just gut-wrenching not knowing whether a relationship could be a friendship or could be more. So, I'd just tell the guy, "I'm going to tell you how I feel. I'm fine with any answer you have. I am very attracted to you, and I do what a friendship with you. But I'd also like exploring a deeper relationship. I'm just not willing to throw away a friendship, so I don't want romantic and sexual feelings get in the way." It was then pretty clear that a guy wasn't interested in dating, but he was flattered and we easily moved into a friendship. It was always easy for me to set aside the sexual feelings and to move the romantic feelings into an emotional bonding. I guess I was able to be so bold because I figured that if a guy ran off because I expressed what I felt, he wouldn't have been much of a friend anyway. I also realized that if someone turned down a romantic relationship, I wasn't being rejected--I just wasn't his type. I think you can trust your lesbian-radar, so to speak. If you are sensing signals, she might well be a lesbian. Whether she's acknowledge that yet is another matter. Letting her know how you feel, but not implying that you think she's lesbian, might make it easier for her to hear you. Just be prepared for, "I'm flattered, but I'm not lesbian." But you do seem to be trying to second guess her (e.g., "things seem to have cooled down a notch.") We cannot know what another person is thinking or feeling, as much as you'd like to. That's why open communication from the start of any relationship is important. Everyone, I think, comes to their first potential relationship with a lot of expectations. We've been primed by TV shows, movies, novels, pop music to have high expectations of falling in love and the thrill of it. I think we start piecing together our perfect soul-mate, so to speak, from the time we hit puberty. We all bring a lot of stuff to that first One. There's nothing rational about it. In any event, Jag256, be kind to yourself. It's okay to feel awkward, nervous, giddy and confused. It's not okay that something about this is possibly triggering depression, so I think you need to take care of yourself. It may sound like a cliche, but in order to be loved, you have to love yourself first. Let us know how it is going.
  23. Hi, mrsoandso: Congratulations. How did your dad respond? How to come out to everyone? Hmmmm. There is a big part of me that admires your desire to be out to anyone, but another part that is concerned about you. You are right that telling your friends to spread the word isn't the best way of going about this. If they are truly your friends, they will be concerned about you and hesitate until they feel it is safe to share this personal information about you. Here are some things I would do (keep in mind that I'm not advising you to do anything): First, ask yourself why it is important to come out to everyone. Be very clear about why. The answer might help you decide whether it is something you really need to do. Is there a purpose, such as setting up a LGBT group? Are you motivated by the anger and hurt of social oppression that most of us grow up with? Second, ask yourself whether you are prepared for the consequences. Does your school have an anti-bullying policy and do you think they'll enforce it? Some teenage males struggle with their sexual orientation and try to suppress it by attacking, verbally or physically, a symbol--an openly gay guy. Secure straight guys don't care and aren't threatened. Third, is there a counselor or teacher at your school who might be advise and support you? They may be important in ensuring that anti-bullying policies are enforced and might want to set up educational programs on orientation (that very much depends on how liberal your area in which you live). For me personally, mrsoandso, your safety and well-being are important. I support whatever decision you make, but just make sure you are clear about your purpose for coming out to everyone and that you have a safety net of school policy. It is likely that you will be harnessed, jeered, feared, and threatened. Can you take it, if that happens?
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